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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of uridine 5'-diphosphate-N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine synthetase by beta-chloro-L-alanine in Escherichia coli.

The synthesis of the nucleotide precursors for peptidoglycan is regulated by the relA gene in Escherichia coli. Thus, nucleotide precursors labeled with [3H]diaminopimelic acid accumulated in a relA strain but not in an isogenic relA+ strain during amino acid deprivation. Furthermore, nucleotide precursor synthesis was relaxed in the amino acid deprived relA+ strain by treatment with chloramphenicol. Uridine diphosphate-N-acetylmuramyl-pentapeptide (UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide) was the major component accumulated during the relaxed synthesis of nucleotide precursors in both relA+ and relA strains. The effect of beta-chloro-L-alanine (CLA) on the relaxed synthesis of nucleotide precursors for peptidoglycan was determined. At a low concentration (0.0625 mM) CLA inhibited the synthesis of UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide and caused the accumulation of UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide. Thus, low concentrations of CLA probably inhibited alanine racemase, as reported previously. Higher concentrations of CLA also inhibited an earlier step in nucleotide precursor synthesis. This was shown to be due to the inhibition of UDP-MurNAc-L-alanine synthetase by CLA. CLA inhibited the activity of this enzyme in cell-free extracts as well as in intact cells.[1]


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